Sometimes, along the way when one is out happily camping or RVing, others that are not having as much fun might be encountered. It pays to know a story or two about what can go wrong on the road and why. Meet Maureen and Dan, two unhappy campers.
Levonne: How long were you out on your recent extended RV trip? Was it your first RV trip? Where did you go?
Maureen and Dan: We were out three (summer) months with our twenty-six-foot Dutchman lite trailer and half-ton GMC pick-up truck. It was our first RV trip. We traveled from Northern California to Buena Vista, Colorado on to New Mexico and Arizona down to Southern California then north on the California Coast back to Northern California.
Levonne: What went into your decision to acquire your RV?
Maureen: Cost, size, weight (ability to be towed by our truck). We wanted to go camping but have more comfort (than tent camping).
Levonne: What did you discover about the rig that you chose for your recent adventure?
Maureen: The truck was not powerful enough! Winds really affect towing. A truck and trailer are hard to maneuver. Now we understand the benefits of fifth-wheel trailers.
Dan: The GMC got poor mileage – about six miles per gallon. We needed a bigger tow truck.
Levonne: What was the funniest or wildest thing that happened on your recent adventure?
Dan: Looking for gas while an extra twenty-seven-foot load is behind you (is a challenge). I had to block all four lanes between pumps so I could leave.
Maureen: It was not funny. We were unable to stay at RV parks along the coast. All were booked. We spent July 4th in a Wal-Mart parking lot. We did end up with the best view for fireworks. We could see four different displays.
Levonne: Have you considered fulltime RVing? Under what circumstances would you fulltime?
Maureen: The thought crossed my mind. Not a good fit.
Dan: Not fulltime but for extended months with a better tow rig and move up to a fifth-wheel.
Levonne: What was a typical travel day like when you took your extended trip?
Dan: Too much driving! We passed up a lot of things between point A and B. We needed more time for travel.
Maureen: The driving was slow. We had truck problems. We spent too much time driving. We didn’t pre-plan for the travel.
Levonne: What was the biggest lesson(s) you learned about RVing?
Maureen: RVing is not much like camping. Spaces are very small. It’s very crowded. And RV camping is very expensive. You have to plan months in advance.
Dan: Not all Wal-Marts will let you use the parking lot.
Levonne: Do you plan to keep your RV? If so, do you want to take any more trips over the next year? If not, what will you do with your RV?
Dan: We are keeping our RV for the next five years. We’ll put the RV in storage when we’re not using it.
Maureen: We’ll take trips to the ocean. Nothing long.
Levonne: Is there anything you would like people thinking about buying an RV to know about the RV lifestyle?
Dan: Before buying an RV, make a trip with a rental to make sure your tow rig can go up hills. We met many nice people at all the sites.
Maureen: Think about having to plan ahead, having to park in tight spaces and not having the space or the scenery you have in a regular campground. Do check out a lot of RVs before buying.
Thanks Maureen and Dan for sharing a bit about your RVing Adventures to date. Hopefully others might learn from your lessons.